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Marshall School of Medicine unveils new simulator laboratory

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Just like pilots use flight simulators as part of their training, that same principle is being used as part of the training of future surgeons before they operate oon an actual patient.

"We're driving through the bottom of the colon," said Johnson Walker, a 5th year general surgery resident as he gets a realistic look at surgery by practicing his skills using Marshall University's new simulation laboratory at the School of Medicine. Walker hopes to one day operate on crtically ill patients in the ICU.

"You wouldn't expect to be good at a sport without practicing. It's the same thing with surgery just at a whole lot higher level of stress and a whole lot more responsibility," said Walker.

"If I saw a lesion there I could remove it using the simulator. It reacts like a similiar tool. I'm able to do colonoscopies, endoscopies, bronchialscopies under a simulated experience," said Dr. Paul Bown, a general surgeon at Marshall University School of Medicine.

It also simulates the pain a patient may feel during surgery.

"It is reassuring to us physicians, attending surgeons who supervise our residents," said Dr. Farid Mozaffari, the residency program director. He says even though doctors supervise med students in surgery -- the simulated laboratory shows students their capabilities before the actual procedure.

"What this gives us is the ability to go ahead and get some of those kinks worked out before hand so when they get to actual patient. The procedure goes much smoother," said Dr. Mozaffari.

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